Wow: Why Critics Hate a New Fox Show — and Why That Means It Could Be a Hit

Aug 2, 2013  •  Post A Comment

A new Fox series got a strong reaction from critics, who appear to generally hate the show, based on the "thwapping" it received Thursday at the Television Critics Association press tour. But that could be a good sign for the popularity of the series, the comedy "Dads," writes Lisa de Moraes at Deadline.com.

"It was the kind of brawl the tour hasn’t seen since the ‘2 Broke Girls’ Q&A back in that sitcom’s first season — and we all know what a hit that turned out to be for CBS," de Moraes writes.

The problem with "Dads" is its apparently racist humor, the story notes. The program stars Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi as childhood friends and business partners whose dads, played by Martin Mull and Peter Riegert, move in with them.

The dads "provide lines like asking their son if he’s watching ‘Punch the Puerto Rican’ when they see a boxing match on TV," the story notes.

"But it’s not left to just the actors in Dumbass Old Guy roles to provide the show’s racist humor, a la ‘All In The Family.’ Green and Ribisi’s characters tell their Asian female staffer, played by Brenda Song, to dress up as a sexy Asian schoolgirl to impress Chinese clients," de Moraes writes.

"Mostly [creators] Mike Scully, Wellesley Wild and Alec Sulkin let the TV critics take whacks at them without putting up much of a fight," she notes, but the actors defended the show.

“I’ve never done anything in 43 years that somebody didn’t find offensive,” Riegert said.

Green added, "Just to be fair, this is a disparaging portrayal of white men."

Song, the actress who was at the center of the Asian schoolgirl outfit controversy, said that when she saw the scene in the script, she told herself, "All right, Brenda, this is your job."

In defending the writing, she said she has been known to use "I’m Asian — I’m really good at math” jokes, and sometimes when men hit on her, she has used the line, “Ah, sorry. I no speak English.”


Brenda Song


  1. In a time when “Brown Bag” and “Citizen” gets banned from the vocabulary of a city, I think this country needs to lighten up. Are we really creating negative worth of people from all walks of life by using stereotypical humor? Most comedy – or at least the best comedy – has truth in it. When we stop worrying about making fun of ourselves and realize words aren’t going to kill us, maybe, like Rodney King desired – we can all get along. Maybe it will stop the violence between the different facets of society if we just lighten up – don’t take everything so seriously and get back to enjoying life. There are two buttons – on/off and channel changer – that can decide whether you can handle it or not.

  2. Tom M.:
    Yes, I’m all for lightening up and having a good laugh. But why does it have to come at anyone’s expense? Why can’t we reach a level of respect before we denigrate Asian and Asian American women? The critics warnings are helpful.Audiences are forewarned. And producers can sharpen their humor. Satire is about targets. Shooting the overdog is always funny. That’s why stupid white people are always hilarious. But shooting the underdog? That’s not funny. Glad to hear about Dads now. I will turn it off in advance and tell everyone to do so.Racism isn’t funny. Lightening up about racism isn’t funny. Encouraging better, more entertaining, genuinely funny programming should be the goal.

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